IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Peter Jok and sophomore Nicholas Baer highlight the University of Iowa All-Big Ten honorees, which were announced Monday evening by the Big Ten Conference.
Jok was named first team by both conference head coaches and media. Baer was voted the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year by the 14 league head coaches, while Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook were both voted to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by the coaches. Baer was also named Iowa’s men’s basketball Sportsmanship Award recipient. Iowa is the only Big Ten team with two players named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
Jok is the fourth Hawkeye to earn All-Big Ten first team accolades the last four seasons, joining Roy Devyn Marble (2014), Aaron White (2015), and Jarrod Uthoff (2016). It marks the second time in program history that Iowa has had at least one player on the first-team all-league team four consecutive seasons: Herb Wilkinson (1945-47), Clayton Wilkinson (1946), and Murray Wier (1948).
Jok, a native of West Des Moines, Iowa, is the Big Ten scoring leader, averaging 20.2 points per game. He also ranks first in the conference in free throw percentage (.9202, 150-of-163) and is closing in on the Big Ten single-season free throw percentage record held by Steve Alford of Indiana (.9206, 116-of-126) set in 1985. Jok (6-foot-6, 205 pounds) also averages 5.7 rebounds, 2.65 assists, 2.6 3-pointers, and 1.1 steals per contest. The shooting guard has scored 30 points or more five times this season, a total that ties for first among players from Power 5 conferences. Jok poured in a career-high 42 points against Memphis on Nov. 26; the 42 points are the most by a Hawkeye in 40 years and ties Bruce King (1976) for fourth most in Iowa single-game history. The team co-captain has posted four double-doubles this season and his 20.2 points per game scoring average ranks fifth among players from Power 5 conferences. Jok currently ranks 16th in Iowa career scoring with 1,455 points.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way Peter has played and led this young team,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “To be able to lead the conference in scoring, the way in which defenses have guarded him, has been spectacular. But Peter does more than just score, he moves the ball, rebounds, gets steals, hits the open guy on the pick’n roll, understands how to screen, and leads the team on the floor. Peter put an incredible amount of time and dedication in the gym that has been reflective in his play on the court this season.”
Baer (6-foot-7, 200 pounds) becomes just the third Hawkeye to earn Sixth Man of the Year honors (Doug Thomas in 2006 and Gabriel Olaseni in 2015). The native of Bettendorf, Iowa, is the only Division I player in the country to accumulate 225+ points, 35+ blocked shots, 45+ steals, and 40+ 3-pointers. Furthermore, he is one of only two Big Ten players to accomplish the feat over last 20 years (Michigan State’s Draymond Green, 2012). Baer scored in double figures nine times this season, led the team in rebounding and steals a team-best 12 times and blocks a team-best 14 times. During Iowa’s active four-game win streak, Baer averaged 13.8 points, six rebounds, 1.75 steals, and 1.5 assists. He also has shot the ball extremely well, making 13-of-19 (.684) from 3-point range during the four-game span, including 8-of-9 (.889) in Iowa’s last two games.
“What more can you say about Nicholas Baer,” said McCaffery. “Nicholas gives you everything he has in every practice and every game. He has a tremendous work ethic that is displayed in the stat sheet every game. When Nicholas comes into the game he brings energy, enthusiasm, leadership, and versatility. I am incredibly proud of Nicholas and this achievement and what he means to this team and this program.”
Bohannon has started 25-of-31 games at point guard, leading the squad in assists (141), ranking third in scoring (9.8), and second in 3-pointers made (73) and free throw percentage (.848). The 141 assists and 73 3-pointers are new Iowa single-season benchmarks for a rookie. The 6-foot, 182-pound guard is one of three Big Ten freshmen to ever total 140+ assists and 70+ 3-pointers in a season (Michigan’s Daniel Horton and D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State) and is currently the only Division I freshman in the country with those numbers. Bohannon, a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree (Feb. 6 and March 5), has led the team in assists a team-best 21 times and netted double figures in 14 contests. He made eight 3-pointers in Iowa’s road triumph at No. 24 Maryland on Feb. 25; the eight triples are the most by a freshman in a single game in Iowa history and one shy of the school record.
Cook (6-foot-9, 253 pounds) played in 24 games, starting 23. The native of St. Louis is Iowa’s second-leading scorer, averaging 12 points per game. He also averages 5.1 rebounds, 0.95 assists, and 0.75 steals per game. Cook has netted double figures 17 times, including eight of the last 10 games. Cook has led the team in rebounding nine times, including the last three games, and blocked shots five times. The power forward posted two double-doubles and scored a personal-best 24 points against Seton Hall.
“Both Jordan and Tyler have made tremendous strides this season,” McCaffery said. “Both impact the game a number of different ways and are playing with supreme confidence right now. Not only is Jordan one of the best shooters in our league, but he makes smarts decisions with the basketball as our point guard. Tyler is a dynamic player who can score in a variety of ways, has learned how to use his strength in the post, and is getting better every time on the floor. Jordan and Tyler constantly work at improving their skillsets and this honor is a reflection of their hard work.”
Joining Jok on the first team, by both coaches and media, were Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), Melo Trimble (Maryland), Nate Mason (Minnesota), and Ethan Happ (Wisconsin); Swanigan was a unanimous selection by both the media and coaches, while Trimble was a unanimous pick by the coaches. Swanigan was also named Player of the Year by the coaches and media. The All-Defensive Team consisted of Reggie Lynch of Minnesota, Northwestern’s Vic Law, Dakota Mathias of Purdue, Wisconsin’s Zak Showalter and Happ.
Both the media and coaches named Richard Pitino of Minnesota as Coach of the Year. The coaches selected Minnesota center Reggie Lynch as Defensive Player of the Year. Both groups named Miles Bridges of Michigan State as Freshman of the Year.
Iowa (18-13, 10-8) will open play in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday against 10th-seeded Indiana (17-14, 7-11). Game time is 5:30 p.m. (CT) at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Iowa tied Northwestern and Michigan State for fifth in the Big Ten standings, but will be the No. 7 seed at the tournament. The Hawkeyes have finished in the upper division of the conference standings each of the past five years (2013-17) and have posted 10 or more wins each of the last three seasons (2015-17).